1. How are the characters constructed through stage directions in this Act?
Shaw's use of stage directions are very specific and didactic. In Act 1, it allows the audience to get a basic introduction of who the characters are.
The mother and the daughter is higher up in terms of social from the clothes they are described to be wearing. The flower girl is wearing ragged clothes showing that she doesn't take care of herself properly.
2. How is the theme of status / class explored in this Act? How are members from each class represented?
In Act 1, the stage directions also gives an indication between the social classes of each character. It allows the audience to get a sense of which social class each character belongs to from what is described about their clothing and personality. For example, the mother and the daughter is described to being wearing an "evening dress". By wearing clothing as elegant as an evening dress, it puts the characters higher up on the social class. The mother and daughter treat Freddy like a maid since he "rushes in our of the rain" with an umbrella. This leads to suspect that Freddy is well mannered and polite. As for the flower girl (Eliza), she is seen wearing a "sailor hat of black straw that has long ben exposed to the dust and soot" which distinctly shows that she comes from the low social class.
3. How does Shaw manipulate language to construct character?
Shaw manipulates language to construct character because it represents the social classes. Apart from what they are wearing, the way each character speaks determine whether or not they have a good education and by doing this, gives an indication of the social class. Coming from a low social class, Eliza has a heavy accent which is hard to interpret. This shows that she has no lessons in phonetics. She has little money to pay for lessons since she is selling flowers which is enough for her to pay rent. As for the other characters, the language that they...
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